Recently, IHRSA reported that health and fitness businesses served more than 70 million customers in 2017, which is a record high since the organization began tracking this data in 1987.

But what about the 80 percent of the U.S. population who aren’t members? Could you be missing out on an opportunity?

According to Jane Benskey, the marketing communications specialist at NuStep, the answer is yes. In a recent webinar with Club Solutions Magazine, she identified the main groups that make up the 80 percent of non-fitness members, and how studios can best reach them.

Those groups include seniors, baby boomers, people living with a disability, and people affected by obesity, for example.

According to Benskey, these groups resist joining health clubs or yoga studios. Why? She explains:

  • They think it caters to young, muscular and “super fit” members — not them.
  • They’re intimidated by the environment.
  • They feel self-conscious and out of place.
  • They believe all exercise must be strenuous or uncomfortable to be effective.
  • They’re afraid they will get injured or aggravate a condition.
  • They’re concerned it will be too expensive.

In addition, each of these groups have different goals when they decide to join a yoga studio. Seniors are often looking to maintain their independence. And Baby Boomers may be looking to transition from rehab, for example.

To succeed with these groups, Benskey said it’s important for studios to create an environment that welcomes and supports members of all abilities. She explained you can do this by:

  • Educating your staff about the principles of inclusive fitness and why it’s important.
  • Communicating that inclusion is a value to be embraced by your staff and modeled to members.
  • Provide disability etiquette training for staff.
  • Make it easy to navigate around your studio or any props you use.